Sunday, August 9, 2009

diy feather and moss centerpieces

That Wedding: Dining Details

Walking into the Great Room for our first dance was my first glimpse of the room, and when we sat down after our dance I took a few seconds to soak everything in. Tiffany (my DOC), my wonderful Aunt Janelle, my mom (because I know she wouldn't be able to resist helping), and Donna (the hotel coordinator) set things up even better than I could have directed, and I didn't have to lift a finger to do any of it.

I love the bright splash of color that the punch adds. This is where not having a color scheme comes in handy.

Our little sweetheart table was just what we needed. We were very gushy throughout the entire meal, staring into teach others eyes and repeating over and over "We're married. Can you believe it?"

Tables were named after locations found in our favorite novels. I have to admit that I was stumped concerning what the tables should be named and That Mother suggested they be named after our favorite novels. Why didn't I think of that? I decided it would be more fun to name them after the famous locations found in those books. It turned out to be a fun chance for guests to try to figure out what novels were being represented at each table.

Our table was named Paradiso. Where else would the bride and groom sit? I liked Inferno much better, but it didn't seem very appropriate for a wedding.

Our fluffy mini book centerpiece was topped off with an antique book That Mother found in France last summer.

Our table name signs were rather flimsy and we needed a way to have them sitting high enough for guests to easily find where they were sitting. The solution was taking wire, wrapping double strands around a pencil to create loops that would hold the paper, and then creating two larger loops on the bottom to hold it up. That Mother's ability to dream up inexpensive solutions to the common problems encountered during wedding planning amazes me.

Table signs were fashioned by ripping (gently) pages out of an old novel we found at antique and thrift stores. That Mother gently taped the book page to a sheet of printing paper and printed the table names directly on the novel's pages. If you look closely at some of the signs you will see that some of them have text from the novel on them! I think it was a fictional book about Cuba. I didn't really proofread the pages, I hope they were appropriate for the event!

Below are all of the table names we used. Can you tell which novels these locations can be found in?

Pretend that "a" is really an "e" to spell Hertfordshire. This is why wedding projects should not be done late at night.

This table contained the only novel That Groom could think of as a favorite. He is more of a non-fiction business themed book kind of guy. He originally suggested Lord of the Rings as his favorite and I said "What location are we going to name the table after from LOTR, Mordor?" We decided to go with The Hobbit instead.

This one was also a little bit of a stretch. I've never actually read Frank Baum's "The Wizard of Oz", but I do really love the play Wicked and I've read the novel that inspired it. That counts, right?

I do realize that Anne didn't actually live in a town named Green Gables. If I can change the spelling of Hertfordshire I can certainly reinvent where Anne fell in love with Gilbert Blythe, right?

Each centerpiece was resting on a stack of antique books. I think my favorite is the enormous yearbook from 1920, with record of women's sports teams playing croquet matches and such. I originally wanted to find books that would be relevant to us or the theme of love in some way, but when you live in a tiny town in central Washington you take what you can get.

As guests sat down I admit they were a little bit overwhelmed with the information presented to them, but tucking things inside and under their napkin seemed like the best way to make sure no one was missed.

The menus were printed on sheets of cardstock cut into thirds. Want to know why the first item on the list makes me smile? Andersen Organics is the brand name my dad farms under, and the soup they served that night was custom made just for us. We managed to organize the whole thing as a surprise for him.

Underneath the napkin guests found a card inviting them to visit our Flickr site and upload their snapshots. Until I got my pro pics back I hit refresh several times a day on our account to see if any new pictures were up.

The other card under the napkin detailed the favor we would be providing them with after the wedding. Kelli Nicole and I worked out a system that would provide guests with the opportunity to go to the proof site, order a print of their choice, and have it shipped to their house free of charge. We wanted to provide guests with something to help them remember the event that they would actually want to keep.

Above the napkin sat the place cards with a button attached. I wanted to find a way to use buttons on the table (like you would expect anything else from me), and as a former waitress I know how frustrating it is to try to read the tiny text at the tables when serving meals. The buttons were not only a pretty decoration, but a secret code for the catering staff. A white button meant fish, black button for beef, and a gold button for pasta.

We also have several gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and so a map of the room with the location of each place setting and their meal preference/allergies was provided for the catering staff so there would be no mistaking who got which meal.

Dinner was served and I should have been starving, right? Nope. I had to force most of my meal down because of the excessive amount of over stimulation I was experiencing. There were people to talk to, and moments to drink in, and my brand new husband sitting so close to me, whispering sweet nothings in my ear.

I did manage to eat about half of this delicious onion soup. I believe it was a blend of organic shallots, cippolinis, and onions, all of which I shamelessly claim are the best found in the Pacific Northwest.